Microsoft recently announced Windows 365, a cloud-based service for your Windows PC in their annual partner event, Inspire. Let’s get into the details about what it brings in for users.
Table of content
- What is Windows 365
- What does Windows 365 offer?
- Windows 365 is Powerful, Simple, and Secure
- When will Windows 365 be available?
- What is the price of Windows 365?
- Will Windows 365 be available for Consumers?
- Is Windows 365 only for Windows 10?
- What are the system requirements to run Windows 365?
- Is Windows 365 powered by Azure?
What is Windows 365?
Windows 365 is the world’s first cloud PC service introduced by Microsoft for your Windows PCs. A service that will let users connect their PCs to the cloud with an integrated Windows experience. Basically, Windows 365 is a virtual Windows experience that will give you a personalized desktop on the cloud wherein you can stream all your content securely all across your devices. You don’t need any additional virtual desktop infrastructure to experience the cloud PC anymore.
What does Windows 365 Offer
Apart from streaming your content, Windows 365 offers you-
- You get access to the Microsoft 365 apps like Excel, Word, and Powerpoint, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Reader, and Microsoft Defender antivirus.
- Optional automated updates which you can procure and deploy in minutes
- Access to your personalized Windows desktop experience from anywhere.
- Customizable configurations for a better and flexible work experience.
- Chance to pick up where you left off on any of your devices.
- Optimize experiences on Windows endpoints.
Windows 365 is Powerful, Simple, and Secure
- Powerful- With an instant-on connection to your personal Cloud PC, you can stream all your data, apps, tools, settings from any of your Windows devices. The service actually provides you a complete PC experience in the cloud. There are different packages available based on the processing power and storage so that the enterprises can scale up or down as per their needs. Businesses and organizations can choose the Cloud PC that works best for them with the per-month pricing.
- Simple- Once connected to the cloud, users can pick their work from where they left on any other device. The service actually provides a very familiar experience bringing your entire Windows to the cloud. Not just for the enterprises, it is pretty simple for IT too as they can procure and deploy the optional automated updates in just a few minutes. You don’t require any virtualization experience for Windows 365.
- Secure- Based on the principles of zero trust and Microsoft security capabilities and baselines, Windows 365 is built securely. All information, the entire data are safely stored in the cloud and not on the device.
When will Windows 365 be available?
The cloud PC service was introduced on 14 July 2021 and as per the official announcement, it will be made available to businesses from 2 August 2021 onwards.
What is the price of Windows 365?
The availability date has been announced on the official blog of Microsoft but the pricing is not yet confirmed by the company. However, a leaked screenshot suggests that one of its business plans will cost US$31 per user, per month. This might give you an idea of what the actual cost of Windows 365 would be. Also, as per the blog post, there will be fixed-price licenses for Windows 365 rather than the cost based on the amount of activity or usage.
The official blogpost has a whole list of plans based on the size, performance, and apps available. Check out the screenshot below to understand the plans better.
Will Windows 365 be available for Consumers?
For now … Windows 365 will strictly be made available for enterprises and not retail consumers. The cloud PC service will be available for businesses of all sizes, be it a small company with a handful of employees or a big organization working from multiple locations. Small and midsize businesses can buy Windows 365 directly and set up their business with Cloud PC.
Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella gave a statement saying, Windows 365 would provide “organizations with greater flexibility and a secure way to empower their workforce to be more productive and connected, regardless of location.”
Is Windows 365 only for Windows 10?
As of now it is available only for Windows 10 PC but will follow to Windows 11 when it is generally available, supposedly sometime later this year.
What are the system requirements to run Windows 365?
To use Windows 365 you need-
- Licenses need to use Cloud PC/Windows 365:
- Users with Windows Pro endpoints: Windows 10 Enterprise E3 + EMS E3 or Microsoft 365 F3/E3/E5/BP
- Users w/non-Windows Pro endpoints: Windows VDA E3 + EMS E3 or Microsoft 365 F3/E3/F5/BP
- Azure subscription
- Subscription Owner (setup network connection)
- Virtual Network (vNET) in Azure subscription
- Azure vNET virtual Network must route to a DNS server to resolve Active Directory records on-premises or on Azure.
- This AD must be in sync with Azure AD to provide hybrid identity in Azure AD
- Microsoft Intune supported licenses (e.g. Microsoft 365 E3)
- Intune Service Admin
Is Windows 365 powered by Azure?
Yes, Windows 365 is powered by Microsoft’s Azure which can be used to create your virtual desktop on Redmond’s servers, and stream that to your PC and non-PC machines. Windows 365 in other words is the automated version of Azure Virtual Desktop.
How to purchase Windows 365?
- You can easily purchase and assign the Windows 365 licenses through the Microsoft 365 admin center-
- Go to admin.microsoft.com and look for the size as per your usage.
- Remember that you can’t log in to the admin center with your personal ID, you have to use your work or school ID to log in.
- Purchase Windows 365 licenses per size.
- Select Users and Active users.
- Among the Active Users, select the one you want to assign a Windows 365 license and assign it.
At the moment, the subscription options are Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise. For the Business version, the price per month, per user, is $31 to $66. As for the Enterprise version, the pricing is the same. In India, Windows 365 starts at Rs. 1,555 a month and goes up to Rs. 12,295 a month, depending on the configuration, according to the announcement.
There is also the option to try this service for free for two months, so give it a spin to see if Windows 365 is right for your small business or enterprise.
What kind of connection is required?
An on-premises network connection is required to set up Windows 365 so that your Cloud PCs can be created and joined to your specified domain so that you can manage them with the Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
To get detailed information on how to create an on-premises connection, Self-service user settings, Windows 365 image gallery, and Windows 365 web portal, head over to Tech Community website.